Famous for its proliferation of jihadi channels, Telegram also serves as a platform for other forms of extremism such as anarchism, both far left and far right. The application appeals to such groups because it allows only the administrator to interact with users and the communication is guarded by end-to-end encryption giving users an added sense of privacy.
The far right is most interested in exploiting the Telegram platform. This article aims to give a brief overview on the most famous channels and chat groups of the far right.
The Casapound of Italy or the AfD of Germany are some of the far right parties which regularly use Telegram. Administrators within these groups use the platform to broadcast news relating to the party or the political situation of the country to their followers. Because these parties are recognised in their own countries, there is nothing illegal about their activities.
Administrators, for the most part, exercise restraint in spreading messages demonstrating strong hatred against ethnic or religious groups.
Therefore, it is difficult to find anti-Semitic or racist messages on these institutional channels.
However, the same does not apply when tracking unofficial channels or groups. Simply typing words such as “anti-Semitic”, “immigration” and “white supremacist” into the search engine turns up an infinite list of related channels and groups.
These channels freely propagate hate speech against ethnic groups, Jews and Muslims, women and feminism while extolling Nazism and fascism.
Followers of the channels trivialize the Holocaust and even post mocking memes in the comments section. In my personal experience in this field, I have never such evil mocked and trivialized, even in jihadi forums where users speak about the 9/11 terror attack.
The list of channels belonging to far right extremists begins with the Italian P.N.F. (National Fascist Party) where a user who described himself as aligned with the Casapound party, posted an anti-Semitic meme taken from the Random Anon Channel.
When entering this channel, the user is presented with a list of suggested channels relating to anti-Semitism, which is called the “Guild of Counter Semitism”.
Within this list one can find a plethora of different categories related to far right ideologies:
- News Channels: channels as CIG telegram, Cesspool and Defend Europe News where administrators share the latest news regarding far right ideology.
- Image Channels: groups and/or chats disseminating propagandistic, racist, fascist and white supremacist images or memes, such as Han’s Right Wing Terror Center, Random Anon Channel and Fashwave.
- Discussions Channels: Alt-right Shitlords, Free Helicopters Rides, White Blood Cells and channels or groups.
Alongside these international channels, there are also many national chats or groups, populated by users of specific nationality. So, for example, in France there is InformAction Francais, in Spain The Spanish Army and in Italy the already mentioned Partito Nazionale Fascista.
Tutorial Channels could not be found – as in Jihadi supporter forums – but, in some of the chats, users share links to the dark web black market, where guns and other weapons can be purchased “to prepare themselves for the final battle against enemies of the white race”.